Quotations of Wisdom

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Clarence Darrow

History repeats itself, and that's one of the things that's wrong with history. [Q1096]

Marshall McLuhan

The medium is the message. [Q1475]

Grover Cleveland

What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something? Trust the people, trust their good sense, their decency, their fortitude, their faith. Trust them with the facts. Trust them with the great decisions. ... What wins is more important than who wins. [Q1843]


The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. [Q785]

Robert W McChesney

Basically what they're saying is, if you want to be on TV, if you want to be a credible candidate, you've got to buy ads. And if you're not buying ads, you're not a credible candidate, we don't cover you. [Q166]


We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard. [Q1306]

Henry David Thoreau

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. [Q299]

Marshall McLuhan

The spoken word was the first technology by which man was able to let go of his environment in order to grasp it in a new way. [Q1484]

Senator Paul Simon

There are a few "hot button" issues that people experienced in politics know are volatile. ... Those issues are abortion, gun control, gays in the military, and affirmative action. [Q1825]

John Kenneth Galbraith

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. [Q1595]

Theodore Roosevelt

The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency. [Q1288]

Erwin Schrödinger

The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist. [Q1437]

Christopher Alexander

We are searching for some kind of harmony between two intangibles: a form which we have not yet designed and a context which we cannot properly describe. [Q668]

Murray Gell-Mann

I have been interested in phenomena involving complexity, diversity and evolution since I was a young boy. [Q979]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children. [Q1081]

Senator Paul Simon

There is no scarcity of people who are oppressed. There is only a scarcity of men and women with eyes clear enough to see and hearts big enough to act. [Q1898]

Michael Sandel

One thing the world needs, one thing this country desperately needs is a better way of conducting our political debates. We need to rediscover the lost art of democratic argument. [Q1950]

Jeremy Bentham

The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong. [Q458]

Scott Nesler

Hating your government is like hating your children. Sure they get on your nerves. They get into trouble. They go against so much of what you were taught and believe in. Your job is not to condemn, but to guide them in the right direction. [Q1606]


Those who gave thee a body, furnished it with weakness; but He who gave thee Soul, armed thee with resolution. Employ it, and thou art wise; be wise and thou art happy. [Q1257]

Lisa Nesler

I have now discovered where children learn strategy, sharing, bargaining, bartering, sales, verbal, non-verbal, and social skills. It has very little to do with home life, and everything to do with the lunchroom. I witnessed bargaining and bartering while sitting silently at lunch in an elementary school. Had I not known better, I would have thought I was in Soulard Market on a Saturday morning. At least you know that when you send lunch to school. SOMEONE is eating it. And really, your kids DO eat....something....maybe Grace's PB & J, or Charlie's carrots. [Q1812]

Neil deGrasse Tyson

When ignorance lurks, so too do the frontiers of discovery and imagination. [Q232]

Dalai Lama

Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. [Q691]


There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot. [Q901]

Winston Churchill

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. [Q13]

Scott Nesler

I would like to think we're all placed on this planet with the task to do good. Each one of us is given the opportunity to achieve the success of Budda, Plato, Jesus Christ, Michelangelo, Galileo, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, or Jimmy Wales. [Q1178]

Tom Stoppard

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older. [Q2075]

Jesse Jackson

Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy. [Q1548]

Václav Havel

If every day a man takes orders in silence from an incompetent superior, if every day he solemnly performs ritual acts which he privately finds ridiculous, if he unhesitatingly gives answers to questionnaires which are contrary to his real opinions and is prepared to deny his own self in public, if he sees no difficulty in feigning sympathy or even affection where, in fact, he feels only indifference or aversion, it still does not mean that he has entirely lost the use of one of the basic human senses, namely, the sense of humiliation. [Q1761]

Meister Eckhart

The more we have the less we own. [Q1630]

Margaret Mead

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. [Q1425]

Buckminster Fuller

Humans have learned scientifically that the exact truth can never be attained or told. We can reduce the degree of tolerated error, but we have learned physically, as Heisenberg discovered, that exactitude is prohibited, because most exquisite physical experiment has shown that "the act of measuring always alters that which is measured". [Q126]

Miles Davis

You can dominate a game if you dominate on the line... We're just going to have to go out there and work hard and blow people off the ball, and let our runners do what they do best. [Q2057]

Henry Ford

The fear of loosing what you have blocks all avenues of innovation and advancement. [Q28]


The eyes of the soul of the multitudes are unable to endure the vision of the divine. [Q897]

Francis Bacon

Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority. [Q1952]

Jean-Luc Picard

You can commit no mistake and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life. [Q172]

Walter Kirn

Literally, while I was writing, the town eccentrics were looking over my shoulder, asking about what I was writing, listening to my explanations, offering their two cents. It had gotten around town pretty quickly that what Walter was doing inside his house could be viewed easily on a computer. I thought, 'This is more interactivity than I can stand!' But it was interesting too. [Q1267]

Margaret Mead

Having two bathrooms ruined the capacity to co-operate. [Q1418]

Senator Paul Simon

People in a small town want to read in their weekly newspaper the stories about a family visiting their friends in New Orleans, about a birth, about an automobile accident, about the myriad small things that never make the news of a metropolitan newspaper but are the lifeblood of community of 1,200. [Q1717]

Clarence Darrow

In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce a single fact or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality. [Q1101]

Thomas Jefferson

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. [Q193]

Napoleon Hill

Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything. [Q683]

Albert Einstein

The health of society thus depends quite as much on the independence of the individuals composing it as on their close political cohesion. [Q305]

Woodrow Wilson

Liberty does not consist in mere general declarations of the rights of men. It consists in the translation of those declaration into definite actions. The philosophy of conduct is what every wise man should wish to derive from his knowledge of the thoughts and the affairs of the generations that have gone before him. We are not put into this world to sit still and know; we are put into it to act. [Q1837]


Twice and thrice over, as they say, good is it to repeat and review what is good. [Q909]

Carl Jung

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. [Q252]

Aldous Huxley

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. [Q633]

Woodrow Wilson

Social reform is a matter of cooperation, and, if it be of a novel kind, requires an infinite deal of converting to bring [people] to believe in it and support it. [Q1820]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Speak what you think now in hard words and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. [Q426]

Sebastien Paquet

I learned from physics that it is often best not to rush in to solve a problem. The time you invest in really understanding a problem is typically given to you back several-fold: - It simplifies the problem at hand; - It creates new learning in your mind, which will make subsequent similar problems easier to tackle. Second, computer science taught me that there are many ways to skin a cat. Programming is essentially a communication challenge. It is about clarifying initially fuzzy concepts and relations and representing them in code. The way you do this determines how much or how little trouble you're setting yourself up for — From his blog What Physics and Computer Science Taught Me about Thinking [Q292]


To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle. [Q15]

Mustafa Kemal

There is no logical explanation for the political disenfranchisement of women. Any hesitation and negative mentality on this subject is nothing more than a fading social phenomenon of the past. ...Women must have the right to vote and to be elected; because democracy dictates that, because there are interests that women must defend, and because there are social duties that women must perform. [Q1927]

Steven Weinberg

An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy. [Q1047]

Kurt Gödel

There would be no danger of an atomic war if advances in history, the science of right and of state, philosophy, psychology, literature, art, etc. were as great as in physics. But instead of such progress, one is struck by significant regresses in many of the spiritual sciences. [Q1962]

Noam Chomsky

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people. [Q160]

Charles Lindbergh

Life is a culmination of the past, an awareness of the present, an indication of a future beyond knowledge, the quality that gives a touch of divinity to matter. [Q1937]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our best thoughts come from others. [Q416]

Elbert Hubbart

Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you. [Q1385]

Woodrow Wilson

The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy. [Q497]

George Mitchell

Why do they believe as they do? Why do they act as they do? Is there something to their position that I don't understand or that I've been wrong about? The most disturbing thing now is the rigidity of some - you know, 'We are right, we are 100 percent right, and if you disagree with us, you're not just wrong, you're not an American.' [Q2013]


Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing. [Q96]

Alexis de Tocqueville

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. [Q961]

T.S. Elliot

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. [Q339]

John Steinbeck

What a frightening thing is the human, a mass of gauges and dials and registers, and we can only read a few and those perhaps not accurately. &ndash The Winter of Our Discontent [Q2017]

Albert Einstein

If I give you a pfennig, you will be one pfennig richer and I'll be one pfennig poorer. But if I give you an idea, you will have a new idea, but I shall still have it, too. [Q120]

Adloph Hitler

What good fortune for governments that the people do not think. [Q41]

Cullen Hightower

A true measure of your worth includes all the benefits others have gained from your success. [Q431]

Adlai Stevenson II

Those who hold in their hands the power of government must themselves be independent — and this kind of independence means the wisdom, the experience, the courage to identify the special interest and the pressures that are always at work, to see the public interest steadily, to resist its subordination no matter what political hazards [Q1847]

Margaret Mead

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place. [Q950]

Oscar Romero

Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty. [Q574]

Diogenes Laërtius

When I look upon seamen, men of science and philosophers, man is the wisest of all beings; when I look upon priests and prophets nothing is as contemptible as man. [Q834]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen. [Q1078]

Herbert Simon

Human beings, viewed as behaving systems, are quite simple. The apparent complexity of our behavior over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which we find ourselves. [Q643]


Mind moves matter. [Q1584]

Edward de Bono

The sheer ability of journalist to comprehend different fields is usually limited, so they have to fall back on three basics: the human angle; some gimmick aspect; attack. The prime purpose is not exposition of the subject but journalistic 'interest'. The ludecy is clear. Commercial democracy has its own ludecy. The larger the readership or the viewership the higher the advertising rates, so the search for the mass market is necessary. Clash and controversy are intrinsically more interesting than agreement, so disagreements have to be played up and emphasized. Scandals are fun, so personalities rate more than substance. — Page 266, Chapter titled, "Communication", I Am Right You are Wrong [Q2032]

Ramana Maharshi

The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measures to gauge spiritual progress. [Q1041]

Coretta Scott King

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. [Q38]


Any man may easily do harm, but not every man can do good to another. [Q874]

Václav Havel

You do not become a "dissident" just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society. [Q1782]

Scott Nesler

In the non answer is the answer. [Q1953]

Roger Penrose

Well, gauge theory is very fundamental to our understanding of physical forces these days. But they are also dependent on a mathematical idea, which has been around for longer than gauge theory has. [Q1040]

Sim Van der Ryn

The best design experience occur when no one can claim credit for the solution – when the solution grows and evolves organically out a particular situation, process, and pattern of communication. [Q345]

Carl Sagan

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. [Q227]


No man is free who is not master of himself. [Q818]

David Lehman

Words can have no single fixed meaning. Like wayward electrons, they can spin away from their initial orbit and enter a wider magnetic field. No one owns them or has a proprietary right to dictate how they will be used. [Q547]

Buckminster Fuller

What usually happens in the educational process is that the faculties are dulled, overloaded, stuffed and paralyzed so that by the time most people are mature they have lost their innate capabilities. [Q116]

Julian Assange

If journalism is good it is controversial by its nature. [Q1210]

Marshall McLuhan

Everybody experiences far more than he understands. Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behavior. [Q1457]

Thomas Jefferson

Never spend your money before you have it. [Q201]

Elijah P. Lovejoy

But, gentlemen, as long as I am an American citizen, and as long as American blood runs in these veins, I shall hold myself at liberty to speak, to write, to publish whatever I please on any subject--being amenable to the laws of my country for the same. [Q2049]

Clarence Darrow

Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt. [Q1102]

John Mayer

Ladies, if you want to know the way to my heart... good spelling and good grammar, good punctuation, capitalize only where you are supposed to capitalize, it's done. [Q2077]

Dalai Lama

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis. [Q544]

John Boyd Orr

The increase of territory and power of empires by force of arms has been the policy of all great powers, and it has always been possible to get the approval of their state religion. [Q1154]

Albert Einstein

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. [Q24]

George Bernard Shaw

Periods of increasing tensions end to become periods of increasing repressions. Soon freedom of speech may become only freedom to say acceptable things. Even thinking, except for the orthodox, may become precarious. [Q1849]

Daniel H. Pink

We know from statisticians that demographics is destiny. And we know from the Rolling Stones that you can't always get what you want. What we don't know is what happens when these two indomitable principles sit down, pour themselves a drink, and get to know each other better. [Q492]

Wendell Berry

In the effort to tell a whole story, to see it whole and clear, I have had to imagine more than I have known. [Q1339]

Donald Norman

I think there is a tendency in science to measure what is measurable and to decide that what you cannot measure must be uninteresting. [Q442]

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